Fire Chief Clears the Smoke

A Glendale Fire Department rapid intervention crew was praised in a review of this Jan. 16 blaze, when the team quickly moved to rescue two firefighters who had fallen through the first floor of an apartment building into the basement. One of the rescues is pictured here.
Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department

As Silvio Lanzas sees it, transparency is a vital part of leadership and professionalism in the firefighting world.
The Glendale fire chief said that’s why he elected to publicly share the department’s summary report of the Jan. 16 response to 140 Carr Drive, an apartment building with a fully developed blaze on the first floor as well as the basement. The response ultimately injured two firefighters, but the four tenants who were inside were rescued — and, most important, there were no fatalities.
“Culturally, one of the things I’m trying to bring to the Glendale Fire Department is one of transparency,” Lanzas said in a phone interview this week. “I’m very proud of our organization, both for what occurred on that day and also equally as proud for their willingness to be open and transparent about what things could have been done differently and what things were done well. That’s really how you make the fire service better.” Continue reading “Fire Chief Clears the Smoke”

Keep Your Distance: City Sees Spike in Virus Cases

Officials are urging caution and adherence to policies meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as, weeks after California began reopening and mass protests began forming across the county, there has been a spike in reported cases of the virus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has largely taken direct initiative to reverse an easing of restrictive policies that counties were mostly left to enact at the start of the pandemic in March. This week, he ordered a flurry of counties, including Los Angeles County, to bar indoor sit-down service at restaurants, shut down bars altogether and, ahead of the holiday weekend, close down beaches.
The county’s overall numbers of daily new confirmed cases have steadily risen in recent weeks, Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas told the City Council this week, and although Glendale itself experienced seven spikes of greater than 20 new daily cases during June — four of which were greater than 30 — its seven-day average only crossed north of 20 once.
“That 20 number is a number that I feel is one that would keep us on a flattening-type curve,” Lanzas said Tuesday. “However, the cases across the county are troubling, and therefore the county and state have taken action to reverse some of the openings that have happened.”
As of press deadline this week, Glendale has had a total of 1,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its residents, of whom 108 have died from the illness. Roughly half of those deaths are associated with skilled nursing facilities in Glendale, although the county’s data does not make it clear how many of those associated deaths are among residents or staff members.
In unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, the county has listed 57 confirmed cases and one death among residents. Continue reading “Keep Your Distance: City Sees Spike in Virus Cases”